First withdraws Doncaster evening services after £15,000 damage

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In early June, First South Yorkshire was forced to suspend evening services as a result of ongoing anti-social behaviour in Doncaster. Nigel Eggleton, Managing Director at First Doncaster said; “I want to apologise to customers in advance who may be affected by journeys that we are being forced to cancel due to repeated anti-social behaviour that is taking place mostly in the evenings across several areas in Doncaster.

“I am seriously concerned that at some point one of our drivers or a passenger may be seriously injured through this mindless criminal activity, and so until the matter is resolved and the people involved are identified, I will be withdrawing bus services from this evening after 1800hrs on Wednesday 8 June until further notice in the areas of Skellow, Bentley, Toll Bar and Edenthorpe where this activity has been taking place.

“Over the last three months we have experienced bricks and other objects being thrown at bus windows, resulting in damage in excess of £15,000 to glass and bodywork panels and some close calls in nearly injuring passengers and our drivers, including seven incidents in the last few days. I am also reaching out to the local community who I’m sure will know who the culprits are and ask them to take appropriate action to resolve the matter, until then bus services will remain absent. Hopefully by working together we can identify a solution.

“We are working closely with the Police to try and identify and apprehend the people involved, but safety and the well-being of our staff and the travelling public has to be our overriding concern at this time. In addition to the safety concerns there is also the matter of cost to replace the broken windows, which is now into the thousands, and which is not something that we as a business providing a service to the local community should be expected to pay for.

“This activity has been going on for too long and unless it is addressed urgently, we may need to take a more permanent decision as to whether buses run to certain areas of Doncaster after 1800hrs.”

South Yorkshire Police Sergeant Kelly Ward said: “Anti-social behaviour of this kind is extremely dangerous and will not be tolerated. We will be carrying out additional patrols along the route and working to identify those responsible. I want bus users to know that we are taking action.”

Fears of serious injury to drivers or passengers prompted the operator to withdraw services in Doncaster. JONATHAN WELCH